Ageing organisation attracts hundreds

Date published: June 11, 2015 at 11:41 am | Comments

KAWERAU residents formed a long line at the door of the town’s Concert Chamber for a Kawerau and District Ageing in Place (KDAIP) public meeting this month.

A group began building the organisation’s foundations two years ago, with the aim of enabling elderly and disabled Kawerau residents to remain in their own homes.

Instead of moving into a retirement village, members would pay a fee and receive vetted services, including cleaning and property maintenance.

Kawerau Enterprise Agency executive director Helen Stewart said the group was in the process of presenting the proposed scheme to stakeholders and revealed it to the Kawerau community on June 4.

The meeting attracted 200 to 250 people and they queue they created stretched back to New World Kawerau while they waited to enter the meeting.

KDAIP was originally called Kawerau Virtual Retirement Village and intended to use a co-operative model, however, this posed a number of tax issues and prevented applications for grants.

Instead, the organisation will be listed as a charity.

Mrs Stewart said the audience was very receptive and interested in the proposal. They were keen for it to become an incorporated society, with charity status, capable of applying for funding.

She said the meeting prompted good decisions and suggestions, including the possible addition of pet care, not previously considered.

The meeting was primarily to present the organisation’s proposal and judge if it was on the right track to meet the community’s needs.

Already people were interested in helping and signing on, Mrs Stewart said.

The next stage was to draft the organisation’s constitution and a job description for a paid co-ordinator.

The organisation was expected to begin functioning within the next six months from the Kawerau Enterprise Agency building on Onslow Street.

It needed to reach a benchmark of 250 people to remain viable, Mr Stewart said.

Source: Whakatane Beacon